I don't usually do many events, but sometimes I accept invitations when I think it's time to expose myself to new people. And a few weeks ago I got invited to participate in an event at a beautiful hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. So I was pretty excited when I realized it was going to take place at the same time I was planning to launch my 5th collection 'The City'.
Although I was extremely excited to participate in this event, the participation fee was ridiculous, compared to the other event fees I've paid. It took a lot of brainstorming to decide if this was something I wanted to do. I ended up saying yes because there was going to be a fashion show of the designers who were participating, which I thought would allow me to present my new collection without incurring in the costs of producing a launch!
So, I said yes and started preparing everything. However, doing this while I'm still studying for my psychology board examination has been difficult AS F*CK! Plus, add to that that I got C*VID and since December I've been working solo at the studio with no employees. Honestly it was starting to get stressful, because most of the fabrics DID NOT arrive on time. I only had one print, there were supposed to be two, and no solids (these arrived one day before the show). So I had to use fabrics from previous collections to complete my looks. There were supposed to be five looks, but one of the looks somehow did not make it to the runway (which was one of the new prints); and, one of the models did so poorly that I wasn't able to use any of the photos that I took to show off the swimsuit.
Overall, sales were very good... but after careful thought and analysis, I realized that the only sale I made to a 'new' client only covered the participation costs. Thank God it was a pretty large order, but still... all of the money I received via orders that day were just a reflection of my own efforts of pushing sales to past clients. The event did not increase my social media following and it didn't bring in new customers or new sales. Also, the guests who arrived during the first hours were all from a different demographic than what everyone was expecting, and most of this demographic never buys at any table. They just come to criticize and take pictures.
The days leading up to the event were also pretty frustrating. We were told that if there wasn't evidence of PR efforts to promote the event, we wouldn't be invited again. And, the overall tone of the conversation between the coordinator and vendors was not nice or empathic. The straw that broke the camel's back was that the only thing that was covered by our participation fee was the parking ticket, and at the end, because the coordinator did not have the appropriate validation stickers, we ended up having to pay that too. The attitude of the coordinator when confronted with this, (because it took me not being able to leave the establishment and about 30 minutes to have someone explain to me why I wasn't able to leave) was "oops, you'll have to pay like every other guest because the manager didn't give me the appropriate stickers". Honestly I was just mad at this point, I paid, and left.
However, to end this post in a good note... the feedback on the new prints have been amazing and I'm extremely grateful for that. I'm also very happy that my clients are loyal and always come back for more. You guys are awesome and I'm eternally grateful for your support.
Although there aren't many photos of the new fabrics and prints, I want to share with you three photos I took of two of yesterday's runway. I'll be sharing more very soon - stay tuned for updates via Instagram Stories! Leave me your feedback in the comments! I would love to know what you think!